Santa07

What makes a coaster "fun"?

What makes a coaster "fun"?   35 members have voted

  1. 1. What quality do you consider to be most important on a coaster?

    • Sensation of speed
    • Large drop(s)
    • Intensity
    • Airtime
    • Long duration
    • Number of inversions
      0
    • Hang-time
      0
    • Comfort/smoothness
    • High capacity
      0
    • Fast pacing
    • Slow pacing
      0
    • Theming
    • Family friendly-ness
      0
    • Other (comment below)
  2. 2. What quality do you consider to be second-to-most important on a coaster?

    • Sensation of speed
    • Large drop(s)
    • Intensity
    • Airtime
    • Long duration
    • Number of inversions
    • Hang-time
    • Comfort/smoothness
    • High capacity
      0
    • Fast pacing
    • Slow pacing
      0
    • Theming
    • Family friendly-ness
    • Other (comment below)

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20 posts in this topic

Posted (edited)

In your opinion, what are the most important elements/qualities a rollercoaster should have?

Edited by Santa07
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32 minutes ago, Santa07 said:

In your opinion, what are the most important elements/qualities a rollercoaster should have?

A cohesive and engaging story that's relevant to the theme of the park it's in.

Arkham Asylum is a brilliant example of this.

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Yes by all means, let's have a half baked theme on a Vekoma SLC over a Mack Hypercoaster with little theme...

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 but this thread is really so subjective and open to personal interpretation 

Good thing there is a poll attached.

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@AlexB I don't see a problem with the subjectivity of this question, it gives us more to talk about that isn't pointless back and forth like how tall a hyper is. (It's 200ft, no less, by the way!)

I don't think the two options I picked are conclusive enough, so I'll elaborate, what makes a coaster truly great, is when you nail what you set out to achieve when designing the coaster. Instead of rabbiting on for hours with millions of examples, I'll just pick one case study: Jet Rescue vs MDMC.

Both are 'motorbike' coasters, so what are the things that you want to get right with this type of coaster?

It's a ride that should be marketed towards a more family audience, without completely alienating those seeking thrills. It's themed around motorcycles/jet skis, two fast moving vehicles in their true forms, so you want this coaster to have a good sensation of speed. Also, jet skis and motorbikes don't really involve much flying or height, so you'll probably want the layout to stay relatively flat. The type of coaster and market lean greatly towards theming the ride, so the best implementations of this kind of coaster will have elaborate themed scenery and an established ride theme. Because it is best marketed as a family ride, you'll want to keep the forces less intense, however you will need to keep the ride exciting, so fast pacing and keeping that sensation of speed is paramount to this type of ride being a success.

Now let's look at what these two coasters do right:

  • Both have a relatively flat layout, true to their subject matter as motorbikes and jet skis.
  • Both have a decently detailed theme that is relevant to the coaster style.
  • Both have suitably fast initial launches, not too intense, but perfect for their family market.

Once we get to here (as most of you probably know) MDMC starts to lose out big time, here are the things that it does wrong:

  • The track is way too high off the ground, killing its sensation of speed.
  • The corners and the transitions between them aren't fast paced or intense enough. The turns should have been sharper (and in turn, banked more) in order to bring the intensity up to that golden point for a family coaster.
  • There is little scenery once you leave the station. Dreamworld really didn't capitalise on how much of an effect theming this coaster's layout properly would have on the ride experience, even without changing the layout to make it more exciting. Furthermore, having scenery close to the riders would add to the sensation of speed that this ride is severely lacking
  • The ride goes on for too long for the amount of momentum the first launch gives.

Jet Rescue, on the other hand, does these things well:

  • The track is low to the ground, making you feel like you're travelling faster than you actually are.
  • The corners are sharp and the transitions are whippy and fast paced. They are also perfectly heartlined to keep things comfortable for riders. They really hit the sweet spot between intensity/excitement for a family coaster.
  • The ride's theme is actually much better outside of the station than it is inside the station. With rocks and caves to zoom in and out of, it adds to the experience on a phenomenal level.
  • The second launch works to keep the speed that the ride needs to remain exciting at the right level, and it extends the amount of time that the ride remains exciting all the way to the brake run.

If you were to put someone who didn't know the statistics on both rides and ask them which was faster, they'd tell you that Jet Rescue was the fastest of the two by a country mile. In actual fact, MDMC is the fastest at 72km/h, with Jet Rescue clocking in at 70km/h after the second launch. It really does go to show that the design of the ride is almost always more important than the bare bones statistics.

People are actually really bad judges of speed. We don't feel speed like we do with forces, we can only guess by looking at things as they go past. In this way it is really easy to trick people into thinking that they're going faster than they are, and Jet Rescue does an excellent job at this. Most people would have traveled faster in the car to get to sea world to ride the ride and not think twice about it, whereas on the ride, its speed is one of its best assets.

Anyway, there's an analysis this detailed for every different type of coaster you can think of, and you could really talk about this for hours and still not quite say everything that you want to say. It's truly something that makes coasters so special, there's so much variety, and so many different varieties of coasters are so good.

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Look the simple answer to this question is fast as all hell with some moments of feeling you might die. That's what makes a coaster awesome as hell. 

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What makes a coaster fun? Well, hate to break it to y'all but here's the secret... it's if it's fun.

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Looking at the current poll options, here's what seems to be the most popular ranked. I gave 2 points to any ranked as #1, and 1 point to any ranked as #2

1. Speed (19)
2. Intensity (17)
3. Airtime (9)
4. Theming (8)
5. Smoothness (7)
6. Fast Pacing (5)
7. Drops (4)
8. Duration (3)
9. Inversions (1), Hang-time (1), Family Friendliness (1)
12. Capacity (0), Slow Pacing (0)

Interesting results, speed/intensity/airtime/smoothness/fast pacing I was expecting to be up there. I'm surprised duration wasn't that popular (although with this you could argue you would much prefer a short rough coaster over a long one), but what really surprised me is how high theming came in - I feel that what @djrappa said sums up the reason of my surprise well enough - I'd much prefer to be riding Fury 325 over a tiny kiddie coaster or something really rough with a completely immersive theme.

Of course, there was always going to be quite a bit of unbalance in it as some people have travelled the world riding coasters, while others haven't really ridden much at all. People all have their different opinions.

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I'd much prefer to be riding Fury 325 over a tiny kiddie coaster or something really rough with a completely immersive theme.

Obviously anyone would pick a Giga over a kiddie coaster.

But a more interesting comparsion is a good smooth coaster with an immersive theme, versus a giga.

Eg Disneylands Space Mountain, or Revenge of The Mummy versus Fury 325.

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Revenge of The Mummy - don't know if I'd call that a 'smooth' coaster. While it rides well, it stops extremely abruptly. Can't remember how USH/USS' one rides, but if it's anything like how the Orlando one rode a few months ago...

If anything, Fury would probably be better in terms of comfort.

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12 hours ago, ash.1111 said:

Revenge of The Mummy - don't know if I'd call that a 'smooth' coaster. While it rides well, it stops extremely abruptly. Can't remember how USH/USS' one rides, but if it's anything like how the Orlando one rode a few months ago...

If anything, Fury would probably be better in terms of comfort.

But an abrupt stop or roughness is not inherent to themed coasters in general right?

Coasters don't get rough because you themed it.

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Posted (edited)

15 hours ago, Gazza said:

Obviously anyone would pick a Giga over a kiddie coaster.

But a more interesting comparsion is a good smooth coaster with an immersive theme, versus a giga.

Eg Disneylands Space Mountain, or Revenge of The Mummy versus Fury 325.

Yeah I'll take Space and ROTM over Fury every day of the week.

On 4/17/2017 at 0:07 AM, AllegroCrab said:

I don't think the two options I picked are conclusive enough

what are the things that you want to get right with this type of coaster?

It's a ride that should be marketed towards a more family audience,

so you want this coaster to have a good sensation of speed.

you'll probably want the layout to stay relatively flat.

The type of coaster

the best implementations of this kind of coaster will have elaborate themed scenery and an established ride theme.

Because it is best marketed as a family ride, you'll want to keep the forces less intense

Anyway, there's an analysis this detailed for every different type of coaster you can think of, and you could really talk about this for hours and still not quite say everything that you want to say. It's truly something that makes coasters so special, there's so much variety, and so many different varieties of coasters are so good.

Thanks @AllegroCrab, because despite you starting out telling me that you don't see the problem with the question, the fact of the matter is that you just proved my point:

On 4/15/2017 at 2:09 PM, AlexB said:

I don't think you can rate the 'top two' things that make a coaster fun - coasters are so diverse, offering such a range of different experiences, I don't think you could have one set of rules that applied to each.

So I looked at your list, and I honestly couldn't tell you which of those would be my number one, or number two.

I pretty much enjoyed every one of them, for what they were.

You did a comparison on two similar styled coasters, and concluded for that particular style of coaster that certain things make it better - flat layout, low to the ground etc. - that's what makes that STYLE of coaster work well. But If we were to apply this methodology to, say - the new MW coaster - flat and low to the ground kinda wouldn't work... you know... for a hyper.

If I look at @Santa07's poll results, Green Lantern doesn't rank that highly in terms of speed, or airtime. And theming isn't really spectacular (although decent by local standards), and it also isn't fast paced.

What i've been trying to say is that you can pick the top 2 for certain coaster styles, but you won't necessarily find two factors that universally apply to every type of coaster out there.

17 hours ago, Santa07 said:

1. Speed (19)
2. Intensity (17)
3. Airtime (9)
4. Theming (8)
5. Smoothness (7)
6. Fast Pacing (5)
7. Drops (4)
8. Duration (3)
9. Inversions (1), Hang-time (1), Family Friendliness (1)
12. Capacity (0), Slow Pacing (0)

Edited by AlexB
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If a coaster can get me to pull this face I would say it's a good coaster.  The more face pulls the higher the rank. 

58f55c68bb316_pooface.thumb.JPG.7d586969c8936e39e08886d41afcea75.JPG

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I wouldn't sooner ride Space OR Fury. I'd want to ride them both for different reasons. 

I wouldn't like to see all highly themed coasters same as I wouldn't like to see all unthemed intense coasters. Two different experiences and I enjoy them both. 

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Posted (edited)

It is not fair to judge a coaster such as Space Mountain to a giga such as Steel Dragon. Both are different rides and give different experiences. Thrill coasters, on one hand, are about speed and intensity. Themed coasters, on the other hand, are about immersion and telling a story. This is why Disney rides have a reputation for being the best themed in the world. Take Radiator Springs Racers for example. That ride aims to authentically re-create the world of the Cars films through its theming and landscaping and immerse guests in that world and tell a story through animatronics, music and special effects. On the other hand, a thrill coaster such as Fury aims to go fast and give its riders an intense ride, without immersing them in a world or telling guests a story. Many thrill coasters (TOT2, Buzzsaw and Cyclone in its heyday) have tried to use both, but have done one or the other extremely poorly (typically theming).

For me, personally, I like rides that have used a combination of both elements with great success, and good examples of this is Hulk, Space Mountain Mission 2, Rock N Roller Coaster and Expedition Everest. All four of these are obviously intended to be thrill rides, however each of them also have a theme that makes sense and immerses guests in a specific environment. 

Edited by XxMrYoshixX
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^^^ reminds me of Oblivion at Alton Towers or Osiris at Parc Asterix. Most themed coaster I've ever ridden probably goes to Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey at Unviersal Studios Osaka, BUT i'm guessing that doesn't count as an actual roller coaster lol

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